On Sunday, April 4, 2021, Metropolitan Athinagoras of Belgium performed the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in compliance with all COVID-19 restrictive measures.
In his sermon, the Metropolitan referred to the importance of the Holy Cross in the life of Christians and to the consolation and the strength that gives to the Christians through the veneration in the middle of Holy and Great Lent to continue the good struggle of fasting.
After the Divine Liturgy, the Metropolitan performed the official Doxology for the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in the presence of the Greek diplomatic authorities in Luxembourg.
The panegyric of the day was delivered by the Ambassador of Greece in Luxembourg, Angelos Ypsilantis, who, among other things, referred to the timeless presence of the Greek community, the truly universal dimension and the important role played by the Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate during those years.
The Metropolitan then addressed the Ambassador as a representative of Greece extending his warm congratulations and wished for every blessing and progress of Greece and continued as follows:
“As the Metropolitan of the Benelux countries, I would like to emphasize the important role played by the Greeks of the Diaspora, with Adamantios Korais being a preeminent figure in Amsterdam, as well as the creation of an important philhellenic movement in the Netherlands.
The Greeks and philhellenes of Europe were an important driving force behind the struggle for independence, and, in addition to the struggle for the right of freedom, they gave prominence to the role of education in shaping the identity of Modern Greek.
For our countries, 1821 is not only the beginning of the struggle of the Greeks for their independence but also the establishment and organization of philhellenic committees in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Some members of the small Orthodox parish of Amsterdam took an active part in the Amsterdam Philhellenic Committee and were responsible for communication between Greece and the Dutch Government.
There is also evidence that the philhellenic committees cooperated with prominent Dutch and Belgians, while Dutch historians have carried out studies on the philhellenic movement in the Benelux countries, which, unfortunately, did not become world-famous because they were written in Dutch.